Formulation and Characterization of Nanoclay Composites – Towards Multifunctional Materials for the Dismounted Soldier


  1. Underhill, R.S.
  2. Nolting, A.
  3. Fisher, G.
  4. Keough, I.
  5. Chapleau, N.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Atlantic, Dartmouth NS (CAN)
Nanocomposites are a promising new area in material science. Many researchers have described the benefits of nanoscale fillers. The incorporation of nanosized particles with high aspect ratios into polymers has led to new composites with improved physical properties such as improved strength, UV absorbance and fire resistance. The work reported here compared the physical properties of various nanoclay formulations. Degree of clay loading, the use of compatibilizing agent and natural vs. synthetic clay were all examined. Polyamide and polypropylene were chosen as the matrix materials, with Cloisite 15A as the natural clay and Perkalite F100, Somasif ME or Lucentite SWN as the synthetic clays. Samples of neat, 2 wt.% and 4 wt.% clay were prepared and analyzed using scanning electron micrography and x-ray diffraction to determine dispersion. The physical properties of the nanocomposites were then examined using thermogravimetric analysis, dynamic mechanical analysis, quasistatic tensile testing, impact testing, abrasion testing and cone calorimetry. The particles in the polyamide nanocomposites appeared to be better dispersed than in the polypropylene nanocomposites. The physical properties of the nanocomposites showed minor improvements over the parent polymer, while the addition of nanoclays to the polyamide system imparted better physical properties than the polypropylene. It is believed that poor dispersion played a role in the lack of significant improvements in material pr

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Report Number
DRDC-ATLANTIC-TM-2009-017 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Sep 2009
Number of Pages
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